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GIGABYTE X99-SLI (Intel X99) Motherboard Review (Page 10)

By Steven Bassiri from Jul 21, 2015 @ 9:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

System power usage is measured at the AC/DC PSU (the Corsair AX1200i) which I have connected to another system to measure the test system and as a backup I have a wall meter to verify. The CPU power is measured through the 8-pin connector which is hooked up to a hall effect IC which measures current and puts out a voltage in proportion to the current. That voltage is logged by a National Instruments ADC which logs the DC voltage level, which I then convert into current.

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Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board; I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about then I will state it, otherwise I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C then there really isn't anything to worry about.

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind that the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

The image on the left is always at idle and the image on the right is at load.

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Full frontal.

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Up-close of the front of the VRM.

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

Thermal Testing at 4.5GHz Overclocked Speeds:

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Full frontal.

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Up-close of the front of the VRM.

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

The VRM components on this motherboard are the same ones GIGABYTE uses on its top of the line overclocking motherboards. Temperatures on the backside never exceeded the temperatures on the front of the motherboard, indicating solid heat sink performance. Even though this is a 6-phase VRM, it performs as well as some 8 and 12 phase VRMs I have seen on other boards.

Board makers can either use high power density or more phases to achieve an overclocking capable X99 motherboard, GIGABYTE has definitely focused on power density. Don't let the fact that the board only has 6 phases faze you (no pun intended); it's enough for any air or water overclock. Anything under 60C is excellent, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).

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